Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Pastoral Psychology
This is a 42 credit program. 
  • 36 credits (12 courses)
  • 6 credits (thesis) 
The Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Pastoral Psychology is designed to enhance and strengthen the pastoral care and counseling skills of ministry professionals working in fields such as institutional chaplaincy, pastoral ministry, and private practice.  This program is open to those who have been actively engaged in some form of professional ministry (parish, social service, community outreach, chaplaincy, etc.) for at least five years and who meet the Admission Requirements listed for this degree. The applicant must hold one CPE Unit at the time of application.  The degree is offered exclusively to the already credentialed ministry professional and is in no sense designed for those seeking to enter the field of counseling. Professional counseling and ministry credentials are viewed as prerequisites to entering this course of study with the GTF.
Individuals seeking licensure must comply with the requirements of the state in which they intend to be engaged in professional counseling as nomenclature is controlled by State Boards related to the various fields of counseling practice.  Visit this webpage for The American Counseling Association to review a full roster of counselor licensing boards throughout the U.S. For information on licensure, contact your state’s counselor licensing board directly. Visit this webpage, State Licensure for Pastoral Counselors, for licensure details. For information on licensure relevant to clergy and pastoral counselors, contact your state’s counselor licensing board directly. Students who are seeking to elevate their status within the profession rather than seeking to obtain licensure or certification will benefit from pursuing this Ph.D. in Clinical Pastoral Psychology.
Completion of the non-credit course Research Methodology is a prerequisite to beginning the doctoral thesis.
The degree is completed by writing and defending a research-based thesis of 45,000 to 60,000 words.
The Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Pastoral Psychology may be earned by the student who has one Clinical Pastoral Education Unit and by completing the following requirements:
Program Requirements
  1. Students are expected to thoroughly familiarize themselves with the Student Handbook of the year of their acceptance with particular focus on their particular degree program.  Students are bound by the academic and financial requirements of the Handbook in use at the time of their acceptance.  The current Student Handbook as well as past years’ Handbooks can be viewed here.
  2. Completion of ten Units of Study:
  3. Completion of the non-credit course, Research Methodology. This course is a prerequisite to beginning the doctoral thesis.
  4. Fulfillment of language requirements if such have been determined by the Thesis Supervisor.
  5. Nomination and approval of Thesis Supervisor.
  6. Submission of an electronic copy of a doctoral thesis of 45,000-60,000 words (180-240 pages) and required forms (abstract, personal biography, cover sheet, Thesis Supervisor Report Form).
  7. Successful defense of the thesis.
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